ELF: Southern Conference Offseason Preview

The European League of Football offseason officially begins November 1st.  With plenty of time before the 2023 season gets going next May, let’s take a look at what each team (that existed in 2022) should try to do this offseason before next season kicks off.

Barcelona Dragons

The Barcelona Dragons already made headlines when they announced that they were moving on from last year’s head coach, Andrew Weidinger, who was named the Coach of the Year in the 2022 season.  After a surprising 8-4 season that included a division championship and a playoff berth, the Dragons’ top priority needs to be keeping the key players that led them to success last year.  Quarterback Zach Edwards led the league in all major passing categories last year (3,325 yards and 36 touchdowns), and receiver Kyle Sweet won Offensive Player of the Year honors after a record-breaking season (1,561 yards, 17 touchdowns).  To replicate the success they had last year, it is obvious that the Dragons need to keep that dynamic duo around.

Cologne Centurions

After making the playoffs in 2021, the Centurions took a big step back last year, finishing 3-9.  They have already made a big splash this offseason, bringing in Kahlil Carter to take over as head coach.  This week, it was announced that last year’s quarterback Jan Weinreich would not return to the team.  Therefore, the top priority for Cologne should be finding a great signal caller, potentially a North American import.  The Centurions also had the second worst defense in the league last year by yardage, so they should look to make improvements all around on that side of the ball.

Istanbul Rams

The only team with a worse defense than the Cologne Centurions last season was the Istanbul Rams.  This offseason, they need to do everything they can to strengthen the defensive unit.  Additionally, the Rams’ offense received a major spark last season when they brought in American quarterback Isaiah Green midway through the season last year.  Green proved to be a dynamic player who was a threat with his arm and with his legs and was a major reason that the Rams got their only win of the season in upset fashion over the Dragons.  As such, they need to do whatever they can to bring Green back to Istanbul next season.

Rhein Fire

The Rhein Fire earned an early offseason victory by bringing in Andrew Weidinger, the 2022 ELF Coach of the Year, to be their new offensive coordinator. The Fire already had a capable offense last season, but under Weidinger’s leadership there is no doubt that the unit will get even better.  As such, the Fire would be smart to focus on bringing in standout defensive players this offseason.  In particular, their defense finished 11th out of 12 teams last season in sacks, so they should do all they can to bring in a standout pass rusher or two.

A current student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carter played football in high school and has been a lifelong avid football fan.